Kodiak’s first freight transfer point at a Ryder facility enables the planned deployment of autonomous trucks to and from Houston, Texas.  -  Photo: Kodiak Robotics

Kodiak’s first freight transfer point at a Ryder facility enables the planned deployment of autonomous trucks to and from Houston, Texas.

Photo: Kodiak Robotics

Ryder System and Kodiak Robotics have established their first truckport in Houston, Texas, at an existing Ryder fleet maintenance facility.

The truckport, which opened in December, enables Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks as well as transfer freight to serve routes between Houston, Dallas, and Oklahoma City.

It's part of Kodiak's work to commercialize its autonomous truck solution for real-world fleet operations.

Maintenance Services

While the collaboration initially focuses on the establishment of its Houston facility, the companies plan to leverage Ryder’s extensive service network to support additional truckport operations and to provide on-site technician and maintenance services.

“Ryder’s vision is to build out a portfolio of key service elements that support the safe deployment and maintenance of autonomous trucks,” says Karen Jones, EVP, CMO and head of new product development at Ryder. “By managing the unique logistics of autonomous operations as well as the servicing needs of autonomous trucks, we continue to build on our expertise.”

Driverless Truck Operations on the Way

Today, Kodiak trucks operate all routes with safety drivers, including its Houston-Dallas and Houston-Oklahoma City routes. The autonomous trucking company plans to introduce its first driverless operations along its Dallas-Houston route later this year, using the Ryder facility as a launch point.

“Expanding our network of truckports with Ryder will enable us to operate autonomous trucks at scale with our customers," said Don Burnette, founder and CEO of Kodiak. “Our goal is to build the elements we need for driverless operations, and having this Houston location up and running is a critical component of that plan."

The Ryder facility will serve as a base to conduct testing and to validate the truckport operational model.

Last year, Kodiak announced with Pilot Company its first truckport designed for autonomous trucks, located at the Pilot Travel Center in Villa Rica, Georgia. The companies said it will be used by Kodiak to launch and land autonomous trucks and serve as a hub for drivers to pick up and drop off first- and last-mile deliveries.

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